Afternoon Tea Beside The Sea

For my birthday last year, my Year 5 team got me an afternoon tea for two in Brighton. I decided to take my better half with me and we picked an absolutely gorgeous day for it last weekend.

OOTD

I picked up this dress at Retrofest last year. I had to wear it by the sea as it has subtle seaweed and starfish patterns. I also added to the sea-theme by adding a prawn brooch and vintage mussel earrings. I know I’m a bit ridiculous.

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Exploring Brighton

After our drive, we started off with coffee. We then took a long stroll through the Lanes before heading to our afternoon tea spot.

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Metro Deco

We arrived at Metro Deco on time and both of us were gasping for a cuppa. The waiting staff were really friendly and helpful; they gave use lots of tea suggestions. I went for an incredibly fruity tea and Nick went for lemon and ginger. I was particularly pleased when I found out I could have as many different teas as I wanted – I am a tea fiend. The spread was delicious and both of us left full and happy.

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The Seaside

With full tummies, we decided a long walk by the sea would be a good idea. It was also a good opportunity to faff about in my dress.

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It was just what we needed – a day to ourselves doing what we do best: eat, explore and laugh. I’m already looking forward to more of these days in the summer.

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London Eats With Northern Ladies

I met Flick last year when I needed a dress to be made for the Miss Vintage final at Twinwood. While I was over, she introduced me to her friend Steph and the rest is history. As Flick and Steph live quite far from me, we try to make the most of it when we see each other. For their trip to mine, I organised a foodie day – because we all love our grub!

Outfits

As we are somewhat ridiculous, we decided to dress in the style of some of the cakes we were going to have at afternoon tea. Flick made her own jacket (which she hand-embroidered) and trousers – she is disgustingly talented. Steph was a human rainbow: nails, hair, dress and petticoat. I went for a pink Dolores Umbridge-inspired look, wearing a vintage dress and a Pin Up Curl hair bow Flick lent me.

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Dishoom

I’d been to Dishoom once before and I totally fell in love with their brunch menu (I’ll be working my way to lunch and dinner too). As we were having a full-on afternoon tea later on, a big fry up was not on the cards. We all chose some form of delicious eggs and washed it down with chai. Epic start to the day!

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The Berkley

After brunch, Flick and I went for a mooch in Portobello while Steph went to visit her shoe church. We all met up in Knightsbridge and strolled over to The Berkeley for our ‘fashion’ afternoon tea. Steph had been before and highly recommended it so we obviously had to go. Basically, it was bloody brilliant. Great service, unlimited quality tea, cakes and sarnies and beautiful surroundings. Steph – you did good!

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Aftermath

Post-tea, we wandered over to Covent Garden and then headed to Waterloo to get the train home. It’s safe to say we were done in.

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I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: it’s amazing how you can connect with strangers online. Thankfully, it’s not long before I see these two again.

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Harry Potter, Hogwarts and My Family

My little sister is a huge Harry Potter fan so for her birthday I organised a family day out at Warner Bros. Studios. Obviously being ridiculous, I had to dress up in house colours – though I’m still not sure I’m 100% Gryffindor.

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We packed our lunches and headed down the motorway to Watford. First off, my mum and I ran over to the costumes from Fantastic Beasts. The detail in them was just so intricate.

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Feeling excited, we lined up for our time slot with our tickets in hand…

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All in all, we spent over five hours strolling around and taking in everything  Рit was so good! We were totally exhausted so we decided to go out for waffles and milkshakes in St Albans. A perfect end to a wonderful day!

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Half Term Shenanigans In London

Normally during half term, I am up to my ears in report-writing so I tend to make sure it’s a quiet week. However after several weeks involving some very late nights, my year group partner and I managed to get the job done early. Feeling a lot less stressed, I thought I should do something with my time so I planned a few things in London.

Soho with Sarah

Sarah and I work closely together and, as both of us were killing time before meeting other people, we decided to hang out in the city. She makes the best cakes and enjoys new things so I felt I should take her to some spots I knew she’d like.

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We walked miles, browsing everything from macarons to antique tiaras. For lunch, we popped into L’Eto – a cafe that does the best tea ever. A little later on, we headed to Sketch because even if it’s just a cuppa you have there, it’s still an experience. A great start to the day.

Camden with Jennifer

Jennifer and I had this evening planned for a couple of months. As we’re both quite busy, we try to make sure that we have a brilliant time when we do see each other. We met up in Covent Garden, had a few killer margaritas and then moved on to Camden.

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Apart from always enjoying each other’s company, The Cocoa Butter Club was the main reason for our meet-up. I’d heard about it on Instagram and thought it’d be worth a visit. It takes place on the last Thursday of each month and showcases performers of colour. After munching some quesadillas, we got to Her Upstairs in time to find a seat and sink some prosecco. We were lucky enough to experience four fantastic performers – it was great! The atmosphere was incredibly warm and friendly; there was a lot of love in the room. If you do get the chance to go, I highly recommend it!

Oxford Circus with Kelly

Feeling somewhat hungover, I started the day with solo brunch at the beautiful and yummy Cafe Miami. After that, I went to meet with Kelly to explore an exhibition at The Photographer’s Gallery.

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At the gallery, we took in the Under Cover and Grayson Perry exhibition, as well as interacting with the #floofyourself installation by Soofiya. Finally, we grabbed some killer ice cream at our new favourite Chin Chin Ice Cream before heading home.

All I can really say is that it was an awesome little getaway with some fabulous people in an ever surprising city.

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Fashion And the Future At The V&A

The V&A (The Victoria and Albert Museum) is one of my favourite places to visit. I tend to visit fashion exhibitions but there is a world of other wonders to explore there too. Over the past two weekends, I experienced two temporary exhibitions – both quite different from each other and both definitely worth seeing.

The Future Starts Here

Fro data usage to socialising, this exhibition sought to answer several questions about the future. As a huge sci-fi fan and someone who is quite apprehensive about the future, I knew I had to go. Also as it was my other half’s birthday, I knew it’d be something we’d both get into. We spent a good two hours find out about the good, the bad and the ugly of the future.

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Having been to a couple of sci-fi/future-focused exhibitions, I was expecting to leave feeling highly anxious and pessimistic. To be fair, there was an element of that but there was a great deal of positivity too. We saw how technology can be used for good: helping refugees, giving people a voice, making the world more accessible, etc. When we were walking up the stairs, we got talking to an American techie who was not feeling as uplifted – he was fearful of how everything would be used and the type of people who’d have access to it. Technology in itself is neither good nor evil; it is the creator and the¬† user who can manipulate it. It is the creator and the user we have to be wary of.

Fashioned From Nature

I took my mum and my sister along for this one. Normally, I go with just mum for fashion exhibitions but this one involved a lot of information on materials and, as my sister is a crafter, it seemed perfect for her. The exhibition looked at the links between fashion and nature through history, exploring the impact on society and the environment.

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On the whole, we found it quite a heavy exhibition. From slavery to poisoning water supplies, it’s quite disturbing how negative an impact the fashion industry has had on the environment and society. The three of us had to take a step back to consider what we do and what we should do to end this negative cycle. Although there were some incredibly beautiful pieces, seeing the pain that it took to make some of them left a a bitter taste. There were positives to take away too though – there are new campaigns, initiatives and technologies out there to move fashion forward in a more sustainable and beneficial manner.

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If you do have the time, go see these exhibitions before they close!

Exploring The Bay Area: A Photo Story

Day 1: Ice cream, ramen and drag.

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Day 2: The Pork Store, Haight and Ashbury, Relic Vintage and The Ice Cream Bar.

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Day 3: Ferry Building, Musee Mecanique, cable cars and Mission.

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Day 4: Long coastal walk, Golden Gate windmills and the best grilled cheese ever.

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Day 5: Conservatory of Flowers, botanical gardens, Ethiopian food and taiyaki.

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Day 6: Bette’s Diner, Cheeseboard, ridiculous rain and anniversary dinner.

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Day 7: Vegan brunch, cat cafe, trans rock opera, Mexican food and catching up.

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Day 8: Berkley again, bookstores and Little Giant Ice Cream.

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Day 9: Oakland, brunch, spice shop, Cookiebar ice cream and graffiti.

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This was my third trip to the Bay Area and I still haven’t visited half of it. It’s one of my favourite places in the world and I always feel so welcome. Remember there is so much to see outside of San Francisco – so go and explore!

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Drag Nights #2: Nightgowns

In January, I went to my first ever drag show, you can read about it here. I loved it to say the least. On holiday in the Bay area, I caught another show at a club in Castro (though I didn’t document it that well sadly). When my friend Kelly suggested we go to the UK premiere performance of Sasha Velour’s Nightgowns, I just couldn’t say no. She a fellow lover of drag and it would be too good an opportunity to pass up.

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It was a scorcher of a day so I slung on this dress from Collectif and trotted off to meet Kelly. We started off with bibimbap in Soho – maybe not the best idea for a hot day but so good! We then cooled off with a fabulous (if not slightly messy) ice cream from Chin Chin.

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After a little wait in the sun, we found our seats at The Grand in Clapham. It was a beautiful space indeed and we were so excited!

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Olive D’Nightlife

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Sasha Velour

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Vander Von Odd

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Anna Phylactic

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Meth

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Virgin Xtravaganzah

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Victoria Sin

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Joe Black

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Neon Calypso

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Untitled Queen

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We came away from the show just full of joy. I’d seen so many queens I’d never seen before and I’m so glad I did. Throughout the performances, we laughed, cried, boogied, sang and held hands. A truly wonderful drag experience.